african seed control

Seed and the control of seed lies at the heart of agriculture.     In Africa around 80% of seed comes from local and community saved seed resources. This seed is adapted to local conditions. It forms an integral part of community food security and agricultural integrity. This entire traditional system is now under threat.     A broad front of commercial interests, aided and abetted by the World Bank, the American Seed Association and government agencies, along with front groups, academics and so-called philanthropists, are endeavouring to alienate this crucial resource. […]     What is at play here … Continue reading

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who is exchanged?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #44 Here is a fine noir Cold War scenario. Right at the Iron Curtain government officials are waiting for an exchange of prisoners. But who is exchanged?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be … Continue reading

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assassin’s creed framework

Although the main plots of the ↑‘Assassin’s Creed’ games have historical settings—during the Third Crusade (Ubisoft Montreal 2007), the Renaissance (2009), and the American Revolution (2012)—the narrative as a whole bows down to ↵the cyberpunk dicourse. The story which delivers the framework decidedly is cyberpunkish: In the present day, or 20 minutes into the future, the evil corporation ‘Abstergo Industries’ abducts one Desmond Miles. In a secret appartment hideaway he is made to connect to the ‘Animus,’ a computer able to revoke ‘genetic memory.’ That way Miles is able to experience the lifes of his ancestors as interactive virtual realities … Continue reading

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what is he?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #19 What is the man in the picture?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE and solution (14 March 2012): Again Alexander Rabitsch ↵did it way … Continue reading

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what is decided?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #13 What are these gentlemen deciding?     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be held, but published immediately by the system.] UPDATE 1 (02 February 2012): It seems to be a really tough one this … Continue reading

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commodifying bodies

At one level, then, the commodification of the body is a new discourse, linked to the incredible expansion of possibilities through recent advances in biomedicine, transplant surgery, experimental genetic medicine, biotechnology and the science of genomics in tandem with the spread of global capitalism and the consequent speed at which patients, technologies, capital, bodies and organs can now move across the globe. But on another level the commodification of bodies is continuous with earlier discourses on the desire, need and scarcity of human bodies and body parts for religious edification, healing, dissection, recreation and sports, and for medical experimentation and … Continue reading

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zeiss ikon eyes

A discussion-thread at ↑williamgibsonboard, broaching the issue of the ↑actual looks of synthetical eyes within ↑Gibson‘s ↑sprawl trilogy inspired the man himself to write a blog-entry on ↑Molly’s mirrorshades and Zeiss-Ikon eyes. The entry is particularly interesting in respect to precision of description and “the hyperspecificity of the cyberpunk style”. Then Gibson finally comes to the “Zeiss-Ikon eyes”: With the “Zeiss-Ikon eyes”, from “Burning Chrome” [↵Gibson 1987 [1982]], which some readers evidently invision as (gack) German camera lenses, there was a “really”. I assumed they were vat-grown, genetically optically perfect organs, perhaps further tweaked to maximize them as, in effect, … Continue reading

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